One of my buddies, Amo, is a budding writer and faithful blogger. She did a ten-day series of personal blog posts recently that I really enjoyed reading. So I thought I’d have a go, copying her categories. I can’t promise quality. I can’t promise excitement. I can’t promise I’ll even finish the ten posts. But what I can promise is that one day, we all will die.
1. I sometimes fantasise about my funeral or the funerals of people close to me. These fantasies are sort of exquisitely painful, like poking at a mouth ulcer with your tongue, or digging out a splinter with a tweezers. It’s usually the eulogies that I think about: what will I say? What will be said about me? Only one way to find out.
2. I almost always have an upset stomach. Stomach problems plague me. The worst time is always the morning. Most of the time I have stomach ache, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. Add a virus, food past its best or a stressful situation and it’s basically gut carnage that confines me to the house. Yes I’ve had it all checked out. No there’s nothing wrong. Yes I’ve done exclusion diets. No they didn’t help.
3. When meeting new people, I am consistently tempted to say very shocking and controversial things, just for fun. I particularly want to do this around Christians. I (almost) always resist, because that’s something assholes do, and despite being a bit of an asshole, I’d rather people found that out slowly over time, after I’ve already suckered them into agreeing to mow my lawn or put a hem on my dress.
4. Although I am not at all maternal and do not coo over little ones, I really look forward to having a houseful of snotty kids some day, whether that’s by birth, adoption, fostering, or a combination of all three. I also hope to have a team of nannies.
5. I get physical-empathy-pain. When I am with someone who has specific pain in a specific part of their body, I begin to feel pain in that place as well. It also happens when watching television or movies. If someone gets, say, stabbed in the thigh, I immediately experience a shooting pain in my thigh. I know it’s psychological, but I don’t know how to stop it.
6. I really enjoy cutting things with a sharp knife. It is one of the key pleasures, for me, of cooking. I really like the sensation of slicing and chopping, both meaty and vegetable textures. I also love cutting things like cheese (hur hur) and, when I find myself in a situation where I have to cook with blunt knives, 99% of the pleasure of cooking is gone, and I feel a bit fed up and angry about having to cook. Seriously lads. Buy yourself just one supremely good knife, sharpen it daily, and it might transform the way you feel about preparing fresh food.
7. Conversations about blood and hearts make me lose consciousness. I don’t consider myself squeamish but I just can’t help it. When people start talking about pulses, heartbeats and blood I begin to get blurred vision and lose my hearing and have to sit down with my head between my knees. I don’t really mind looking at blood that much, but I can’t talk about it. The same thing begins to happen as soon as I sit in a doctor’s chair to give a blood sample. As the old strap is going around my arm, I begin to pass out. It’s embarrassing and inconvenient and fairly recent – probably the last five years or so. One night it happened when watching Interview with a Vampire on the telly. I had to sit on the stairs for forty minutes to recover. Sheesh.
8. As a child, boiled potatoes would make me feel ill, sticking in my throat and refusing to be swallowed, so I would hide them around the house in order to pretend that I had eaten them off my plate. A key location for unwanted spuds was the coal bucket in the living room beside the fireplace. My mother mentioned in passing to me a few years ago that she could never understand what the black mush was that she would sometimes find in with the coal. I would also sometimes hide nice things, like a Toffee Crisp, so that I could forget about them, and then find them again some day and be pleasantly surprised. These are the more innocuous parts of the swirling vortex of eating disorder crap that I went through from about the age of six onwards.
9. I am extremely petulant and childish about making new friends. I sort of hate when people are friendly to me and send me lots of invitations because I already have friends and I don’t need any more bloody friends. I am particularly hating how friendly everyone in Aberdeen is being towards me and the fact that my diary is full of social events this week from kind, welcoming people.
10. I have not really found it to be true that a problem shared is a problem halved. I almost always feel worse when I talk about my problems. However, my pleasure is genuinely doubled when I share it. I am enthusiastic about a lot of things: Spaced, cake, the novels of George Orwell, the music of the tUnE-yArDs: but none of it is more fun than when I can find someone else who feels the same way about it. One day I asked my dear friend L what her absolute favourite-of-all-time song was. When she replied that it was The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys, which by a remarkable coincidence is also my absolute favourite-of-all-time song, I nearly threw a party out of glee that someone else felt the same way about it.
11. Because I am a rebel, I am including an eleventh secret. Think of it as the secret track on this secrety blog post. I’d really love to kick a pigeon up the arse some time, but I don’t have the courage. I’d settle for a gull, either.